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Social Media Posts Help Identify Capitol Rioters

FBI, DC police ask for tips
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2021 5:52 AM CST

(Newser) – The FBI and Washington, DC, police are trying to identify members of the mob that stormed the Capitol Wednesday—and they have plenty of photos, some of them taken by the rioters themselves, to help them in that effort. DC police released 26 photos of suspects Thursday and offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to arrests, CBS reports. Most of the "persons of interest" are wanted for unlawful entry. One woman seen outside the Capitol holding what appears to be part of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office sign is wanted for receiving stolen property. Prosecutors say that since almost all the rioters left the Capitol without being arrested, they now have to identify hundreds of suspects from all over the country. More:

  • First federal cases filed. The first federal cases were filed against suspects Thursday, and more than 40 more were filed in a non-federal court, NBC Washington reports. Acting US Attorney Michael Sherwin, the top federal prosecutor in DC, said seditious conspiracy, rioting, and insurrection charges are "on the table" in connection with the riot.

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  • FBI asks for tips. The FBI has asked for "tips and digital media" depicting the rioting. The agency "is working closely with our federal, state, and local partners to aggressively pursue those involved in criminal activity during the events of January 6," FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement. "Make no mistake: With our partners, we will hold accountable those who participated in yesterday's siege of the Capitol."
  • Suspect gloats. One of the most high-profile suspects, Jake Angeli, gloated about the riot before leaving the capital for Arizona Thursday. "The fact that we had a bunch of our traitors in office hunker down, put on their gas masks and retreat into their underground bunker, I consider that a win," he told NBC. Angeli, known as "Q Shaman," was seen inside the Senate chamber shirtless, wearing a fur headdress with horns.
  • Man who wore company badge fired. Maryland company Navistar Direct Marketing says it has fired an employee who was seen inside the Capitol wearing his employee badge, the AP reports.
  • More firings. Other people fired over social media posts include Rick Saccone, an adjunct professor from Pennsylvania who lost his job at Saint Vincent College after they reviewed his Facebook video from the scene, reports Reuters. In Texas, Goosehead Insurance canned lawyer Paul Davis over an Instagram post in which he said getting tear-gassed at the Capitol was "quite the experience."
  • Suspects posted evidence on social media. Law enforcement investigators and independent online sleuths have been using social media to identify rioters. Many of those who stormed the Capitol gleefully shared their photos from the scene—or, like West Virginia lawmaker Derrick Evans—livestreamed their entry to the building. "Those who stormed the Capitol didn’t leave social media breadcrumbs for law enforcement to follow to their front doors—they left entire loaves of bread," writes Sara Morrison at Vox.
  • At least 6 GOP lawmakers were present. The Hill reports that besides Evans, at least five other Republican lawmakers were present at the Capitol rioting. They denied entering the building or participating in violence. Tennessee state Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver denied that violence had even occurred. "Just a whole heck of a lot of patriots here," Weaver told the Tennessean Wednesday. Missouri state Rep. Justin Hill marched to the Capitol with fellow Trump supporters after skipping his own swearing-in.
(Read more Washington, DC stories.)

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